Low fares & free travel for disabled people

The information below applies to residents of Greater Manchester. Holders of National Concessionary Travel Passes (NCTP) from areas outside Greater Manchester may use their passes within Greater Manchester after 0930 Mon-Fri and all day at weekends and on Bank Holidays on local buses only, but such passes are not valid on rail and Metrolink in Greater Manchester.
 
National travel pass
The Concessionary Bus Travel Act states that disabled people in England who are eligible will get free off-peak travel on all local buses anywhere in England from April 2008.
 
The national concessionary travel pass replaces concessionary passes that we issued before April 2008. If you have an old-style paper pass and want to continue to travel for free or for the current standard concessionary fare, you must get a new-style plastic national travel pass.
 
If you qualify, you can travel for free on local buses anywhere in England between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays.
 
So if you visit another part of England, you can use your pass to travel on local buses in that area.
 
Before 9.30am, you must pay the current standard concessionary fare in Greater Manchester and the full adult fare outside Greater Manchester.
 
Some disabled people can travel for free on buses at all times in Greater Manchester. If you qualify, we will give you a Concession Plus pass. This allows you to travel for free on buses at all times in Greater Manchester and for free on local buses elsewhere in England between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays.
 

On trains and Metrolink trams
If you live in Greater Manchester, you can also use your pass to travel for free, or for half the current standard fare before 9.30am, on trains and Metrolink trams in Greater Manchester.
 
This is only available if you live in Greater Manchester. You cannot use your pass on trains and trams outside Greater Manchester.
 

Travel Vouchers
If you are registered blind or have serious walking difficulties and cannot use ordinary buses, you may be able to get Travel Vouchers.
 
You can use these to pay for taxis and door-to-door services, like Ring and Ride and Local Link. This is only available if you live in Greater Manchester and are willing to give up your national concessionary travel pass.
 
For more information about Travel Vouchers, please phone our Travel Concessions department on 0161 244 1050 and ask for a leaflet.
 

Assistance dogs
All assistance dogs are allowed to travel when accompanying a disabled person on buses, trains and Metrolink trams.
 

Free travel after 9.30am
 
Who qualifies and how do I apply?
You may be able to get free travel on local buses anywhere in England between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays, if you:
  • have severe walking difficulties;
  • are registered partially sighted;
  • are profoundly or severely deaf; or
  • have been or would be refused a driving licence for medical reasons.
To apply for a national concessionary travel pass, you need to get an application form from a Transport for Greater Manchester Travelshop**, (there is a list of Transport for Greater Manchester Travelshops further down); or by post from:
 
Travel Concessions
Customer Services
PO Box 429
Manchester, M60 1HX.
 
You will need a passport-sized photograph.
 
** Please note Piccadilly Online is located next door to Piccadilly Travelshop. Passes are not issued from Piccadilly Online, however, completed application forms are accepted here. The pass will then be issued via post. (Opening hours 9am to 5pm Mondays to Saturday)
 
If you are aged 60 or over, you should apply for a national concessionary travel pass for people over 60 - the benefits are the same.
 

How much will I have to pay to travel on buses?
With your national concessionary travel pass, you can travel for free between 9.30am and 11pm* Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays on all local buses throughout England.
 
At all other times, you pay the standard concessionary fare for each journey inside the Greater Manchester bus boundary and the full adult fare outside the Greater Manchester bus boundary.
 
If you start your journey before 9.30am Monday to Friday, and are making a short journey between the Greater Manchester bus boundary area and Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Merseyside or West Yorkshire, you pay half the full adult fare for the whole journey. Listed below are the furthest places you can travel to or from for half fare.
 
Hadfield, Glossop, Hayfield, Tideswell, Buxton, Macclesfield, Knutsford, Warrington, Prescot, Ormskirk, Leyland, Blackburn, Accrington, Rawtenstall, Bacup, Portsmouth (West Yorkshire), Hebden Bridge, Halifax and Huddersfield.
 
If you want to travel beyond these places, you must pay the full adult fare for the whole journey.
 

On which buses can I use my pass?
You can use your pass on all local buses in England, no matter what colour or size the bus is, or which company runs it. You may be able to use your pass for local journeys on some long-distance services, but you should check with the bus company first. You cannot use your pass for long-distance bus journeys, excursions (holiday trips) or tours, or special bus services which charge higher-rate fares, such as late-night services.
 
*Until midnight for travel within Greater Manchester for people with a Transport for Greater Manchester national concessionary travel pass.
 

How much will I have to pay to travel on trains and Metrolink trams in Greater Manchester?
With your national concessionary travel pass, you can travel for free between 9.30am and midnight Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays. Before 9.30am Monday to Friday, you can travel for half the current standard fare. If you are using a Metrolink ticket machine, you should press 'child single' or 'child return' depending on whether you will be making a return journey before 9.30am. On trains and Metrolink trams, you will not need a ticket to travel after 9.30am.
 
Your national concessionary travel pass is valid for free or half-price fare travel only for journeys which begin and end within the Greater Manchester rail boundary.
 
If you have a train ticket from any station within the rail boundary to Manchester, or if your journey involves changing at a train station in Manchester, you can travel free on Metrolink trams in the City Zone (Piccadilly - Victoria - G-Mex, and all the stops in between). For other journeys before 9.30am Monday to Friday, which include travelling on trains and Metrolink trams, you will have to buy separate tickets for each.
 
This is only available if you live in Greater Manchester. You cannot use your pass on trains and trams outside Greater Manchester. Remember, you can only travel for free or at the concessionary fare if you have your pass with you.
 
You cannot use your pass on excursions (holiday trips) or tours.
 

Free travel at all times in Greater Manchester
 
Who qualifies and how do I apply?
If you live in Greater Manchester and you are disabled, you may be able to get a Concession Plus pass which allows you to have free travel at all times on buses, local trains and Metrolink trams in Greater Manchester, and on local buses elsewhere in England between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays.
 
You may be able to get a Concession Plus pass if you:
  • are registered blind;
  • are profoundly deaf and cannot speak or have limited speech that is difficult to understand; or
  • have learning disabilities.
  • cannot use both of your arms;
  • cannot talk;
  • are an ex-serviceman or ex-servicewoman with serious walking difficulties as a result of losing a leg; or
  • would be refused a driving licence as a result of severe and long-term mental-health problems.
For an application form for a Concession Plus pass write to us at:
 
Travel Concessions
Customer Services
PO Box 429
Manchester M60 1HX
 
Or phone: 0161 244 1050
 
Please apply in plenty of time and allow two weeks for us to process your application.
 

What does the Concession Plus pass provide on buses?
With a Concession Plus pass, you can travel for free at all times on buses in the Greater Manchester bus boundary. You can travel for free on local buses throughout the rest of England between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and on public holidays.
 
At all other times, if you are travelling outside the Greater Manchester bus boundary, you pay the full adult fare.
 
If you start your journey before 9.30am Monday to Friday, and are making a short journey between the Greater Manchester bus boundary area and Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Merseyside or West Yorkshire, you can travel for free to the Greater Manchester bus boundary and for half fare for the part of the journey outside the Greater Manchester bus boundary. Listed below are the furthest places you can travel to or from for half fare.
 
Hadfield, Glossop, Hayfield, Tideswell, Buxton, Macclesfield, Knutsford, Warrington, Prescot, Ormskirk, Leyland, Blackburn, Accrington, Rawtenstall, Bacup, Portsmouth (West Yorkshire), Hebden Bridge, Halifax and Huddersfield.
 
If you want to travel beyond these places, you must pay the full adult fare for the whole journey.
 

On which buses can I use my pass?
You can use your pass on all local buses, no matter what colour or size the bus is, or which company runs it. You may be able to use your pass for local journeys on some long-distance services, but you should check with the bus company first. You cannot use your pass for long-distance bus journeys, excursions (holiday trips) or tours, or special bus services which charge higher-rate fares, such as late-night services.
 

What does the Concession Plus pass provide on local trains and Metrolink trams in Greater Manchester?
With a Concession Plus pass you can travel for free on all Metrolink trams and on local trains if your journey begins and ends within the Greater Manchester rail boundary.
 
Remember, you must have your Concession Plus pass with you to travel for free.
 
You cannot use your pass on trains and trams outside Greater Manchester.
 
Replacement passes
We may charge you for a replacement pass if your pass is lost, stolen or damaged.
 

Travelshop information
We have Travelshops at the bus stations in Altrincham, Ashton, Bolton, Bury, Eccles, Hyde, Leigh, Middleton, Oldham, Manchester Piccadilly Gardens**, Manchester Shudehill, Rochdale, Stockport, Wigan and Wythenshawe.
 
** Please notePiccadilly Online is located next door to Piccadilly Travelshop. Passes are not issued from Piccadilly Online, however, completed application forms are accepted here. The pass will then be issued via post. (Opening hours 9am to 5pm Mondays to Saturday)
 

Ring and Ride
You can use your national concessionary travel pass to travel at a reduced fare on Ring and Ride services. For more information please phone Traveline on 0871 200 22 33*.
 

Door-to-door services
In areas where there are very limited bus services, we support Local Link services which are door-to-door public transport services. You can use your national concessionary travel pass to travel at a reduced fare. (Fares vary from service to service.) For more information please phone Traveline on 0871 200 22 33*.
 
*calls from BT landlines cost 10p a minute, mobile and other landline networks may charge an additional tariff.